A Matter Of Opinion

MONDAY, AUG. 25, 2008, 1:21 P.M.

News or daily affirmation?

Leroy Sievers was the "Nightline" producer who chronicled his life after being diagnosed with cancer. Sievers recently died, and in reading about him I was struck by his take on today's audience for news.

"The audience has changed," he told LA Weekly in 2005. "People don't necessarily want to hear both sides of the story, which is what 'Nightline' did best. They want to hear, 'You're right! They're wrong!' " He added: "Someone said to me once that people want to go to bed happy and the show didn't let them. My response to that was it's not necessarily a happy world."

The proliferation of blogging and Internet news sites has been a happy occasion for those who want their daily affirmation, rather than the news, but has that been a good development for society?

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.